Would you call her ‘just a Mum?’


A woman who was renewing her driver’s license, was asked by the clerk at the licensing bureau to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain of how to classify herself.

What I mean is,” said the clerk; Do you have a job, or are you just a …?” She is probably a career woman, thought the mother; poised, efficient and possessed of a high-sounding title like official interrogator, maybe?

“Of course I have a job,’ snapped the young woman. “I’m a Mum.

We don’t list Mum as an occupation; housewife covers it,” stated the clerk emphatically.

The young mother stared at her in silence. The clerk probably thought that the mother had not heard what she said so she repeated herself slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. The mother thought fast and to this day has no idea what prompted her to state; 

“I am a research associate in the field of human relations,” while she stared in wonder as her pronouncement was written in bold, black letters on the official questionaire.

What exactly do you do in your field?” the clerk inquired.

Without a trace of hesitation in her voice, the young woman replied:

I have an ongoing program of research (which mother doesn’t?) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out.) I’m working toward my Masters (the whole family) and have already received four credits (all daughters) Of course the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, but it is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers actually, and the rewards are more satisfactory than the financial.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form stood up, and personally escorted the young woman to the door.

As she drove into the driveway of their family home, buoyed by her glamorous new career, she was greeted by her lab assistants aged 13, 7 and 3, while upstairs she could hear her new experimental model (a six month old baby) in the child development program testing out a new vocal pattern.

She had scored a beat on bureaucracy and had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than ‘just another Mum.” Motherhood … what a glorious career especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations and great grandmother Executive Senior Research Associates?

The moral of my story is;  Be kinder than necessary. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. You never know when a moment of your time and a few sincere words can have an impact on  someone’s life.



This entry was posted in Senior Citizens on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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